ATP Dubai: Gael Monfils to face Novak Djokovic. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Evans advance



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ATP Dubai: Gael Monfils to face Novak Djokovic. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Evans advance

World no. 9 Gael Monfils is through to his third straight semi-final, beating Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 13 minutes for the 11th victory over a compatriot in 18 encounters. Gael is now 16-2 in 2020, continuing his great run and facing world no.

1 Novak Djokovic in the semis, in what should be a real test of his current abilities. Losing 13 points in nine service games, Monfils got broken once and that wasn't enough to keep Gasquet safe, playing against 19 break chances and getting broken four times to push Gael over the finish line.

The better-ranked player created no less than 11 opportunities for a break in the opener, seizing two in games five and nine to close the set after a drop shot error from Gasquet. Racing into a 5-1 advantage in set number two, Gael suffered a break while serving for the match before sealing the deal with a backhand down the line winner at 5-3 to reach the final four for the second consecutive year in Dubai.

The 2nd seed and the last year's finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas toppled Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 22 minutes after a challenging day at the office. The German won their previous two encounters in 2019 and was off to a great start once again in this one, taking the opener before Tsitsipas took charge in sets two and three to cross the finish line first and stay on the title course.

It was a fantastic match from start to finish, with more winners than unforced errors on both players' tally, with just three breaks in total that determined the winner of each set. Serving at only 49%, Struff avoided break points in the opener and grabbed a break in game ten after an incredible exchange for a 6-4.

Stefanos bounced back at the beginning of the second set when Struff's forehand landed long, fending off two break chances at 5-4 to claim the set and set up a decider where he had the momentum now. The Greek lost only five points in the final set and the German couldn't follow that pace, squandering three game points at 4-4 to give serve away after a loose forehand, allowing Stefanos to finish the job with a service winner a few minutes later and stay on the title course.

There, Tsitsipas will face Daniel Evans who is through to the semi-final of the ATP 500 event for the very first time, beating Andrey Rublev 6-2, 7-6 in grueling two hours and 11 minutes. The Briton saved eight out of ten break chances and scored four breaks, dominating in the opener and bouncing back in set number two to erase the deficit and move in front.

Andrey broke back at 15 with a smash winner in game ten to prolong the set, wasting two set points in the tie break at 6-5 and 9-8 while fending off two match points in between to stay locked at 9-9. Daniel clinched another mini-break at 10-9 to seal the deal and continue where he left in Adelaide and Rotterdam.